CA Mindanao chief judge defends court orders stopping CDO mayor’s disqualification
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – Court of Appeals Mindanao Executive Justice Romulo Borja has frowned on allegations by the camp of former mayor Vicente Emano Jr. that CA associate justices had received bribes to favor Mayor Oscar Moreno’s petitions to stop his dismissal from office.
Last year, the Ombudsman ordered Moreno’s sacking and perpetual disqualification from public service – along with city treasurer Glen Banez – over a tax deal with Ajinomoto Philippines.
Moreno immediately asked the appellate court to nullify the dismissal order, citing grave abuse of discretion by the Ombudsman when it allegedly failed to hear his side. His petition for dismissal of the case against him is still pending.
He also asked for the issuance of a 60-day temporary restraining order, which the Court of Appeals granted in November.
As the TRO was about to expire on Monday, he again secured a writ of preliminary injunction against the Ombudsman’s order.
Borja, taking exception from the allegations made by Padayon Pilipino-backed protesters on the same day, said these were unfair and baseless – aside from being contemptuous.
“That’s absolutely false. Show me one proof. Show me a single piece of evidence, and I will act on it,” he said as he challenged Emano’s camp to prove its allegations.
Borja said the appeals court was only acting on the merits of Moreno’s petition and decisions were “not for sale,” contrary to allegations the Moreno case was about the “rule of money.”
He also blasted the protest mounted by Emano’s supporters on Monday, saying it was illegally conducted as it was within 200 meters of the CA premises.
Borja warned that the Emano camp could be cited for contempt even as the Court of Appeals was then exercising maximum tolerance. “Even patience has its limits,” he said.
Meanwhile, Moreno said he was happy the appellate court granted his writ for injunction as it also prevented the Emano camp from taking control of city hall ahead of the May elections.
The 11-page resolution, which was signed by Associate Justices Edgardo Camello, Oscar Badilles, and Perpetua Atal Paño, was received by Moreno around 6 p.m. Monday.
The appeals court ordered the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to suspend the implementation of the Ombudsman order against Moreno and Bañez and maintain a status quo at city hall pending the resolution of Moreno’s petition for dismissal of the case against him.
Dale Mordeno, head of Moreno’s legal team, said the issuance of the writ of preliminary injunction had prevented further action against Moreno. SFM
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